"Mama" Cass Elliot on Scooby-Doo
Scooby-Doo has been a cultural phenomenon for over fifty years and has the sort of cultural profile that attracts famous guest stars, some of whom have real rock pedigree, such as Axl Rose and Kiss. The guest stars began in 1972 when Scooby-Doo was expanded to an hour-long format, where every episode featured a guest star, either real or fictional. Guests included Don Knotts, Phyllis Diller, Dick Van Dyke, and Batman.
Davy Jones, Sonny and Cher, and “Mama” Cass Elliot are the guest stars from the world of rock. While it’s a mystery why the animators chose to give Cher the face of the Chief from One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, most of the episodes are pretty unremarkable. It’s the Cass Elliot episode that’s weird. It’s weird for all the fat jokes. So many fat jokes. It's just all fat jokes. Plus an uncritical reference to dangerous extreme dieting. Ironic that with all the potential for inappropriateness on this list, it’s a Scooby Doo episode featuring a hippie folk singer that might actually be damaging for children to view. "The Haunted Candy Factory" is the single most offensive episode of Scooby-Doo.
It’s a shame. I can’t say it’s a good episode, but it’s a decent one, and Elliot is unique among the guest stars for sounding like she’s having fun. The episode aired roughly nine months before she passed away, making it bitter-sweet, which adds to the shame that it just doesn’t live up to today’s standards.